The progress in the East African Community in rolling out solar energy access to millions of target communities that are currently disadvantaged by limited access to national electricity grids has been strongly enabled by the exemptions provided within the EAC Customs Management Act and in specific favourable treatment within the Common External Tariff
However, the off-grid solar industry has been continually hampered by inconsistent interpretation and application in fiscal policy incentives and lack of support for the sector, both within individual countries and across the region. The lack of clarity in import regulations, customs and tax policy has led to continual delays in importation for companies and has contributed to unhelpful misunderstandings between solar energy players and tax and customs authorities.
USEA intends to bridge this communication gap by developing a handbook for solar taxation in Uganda for all stakeholders including customs officials, importers, shipping and clearing agents as a reference resource on off-grid products, parts and accessories.
This is in line with the spirit of trade facilitation, simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes.
This hand book will act as a comprehensive guide to solar products, parts and accessories as a reference document and training resource for individuals, firms, officials and organizations involved in the movement, release and clearance of off-grid solar products.
The essence of this book is that;
- It identifies the most common exempted, non-
- exempted and zero rated solar products and energy efficient appliances (core components, products, parts and accessories critical for delivering off-grid solar energy access)
- It identifies and provides applicable national/ regional tariff codes
- It identifies and provides applicable duties and taxes in the EAC in particular Uganda
- It acts as a reference customs handbook for tax matters on solar products